Warning! The following contains spoilers for American Idol Season 18. Read at your own risk!
American Idol's Season 18 finale drew a slurry of reactions from around the web, and not just about who was voted to the winner. The most alarming reactions to be found on Twitter were those expressing concern for longtime host Ryan Seacrest, whose slightly off behavior caused some to speculate that he'd had some kind of stroke or other neurological episode towards the end of the episode. That ended up not being the case, thankfully, but there are still questions.
The moment happened during the Top 2 reveal, for which Ryan Seacrest revealed that Arthur Gunn and Just Sam were the final pair in contention to win Season 18 of American Idol. During the goodbyes to Jonny West, Dillon James, and Francisco Martin, Seacrest appeared to be showing some concerning symptoms that more than a few people online believed were indicative of a stroke, including a drooping eye and arguably slurred speech. You can watch the moment in question below.
During the live broadcast, I'd noticed something was a bit off there in the final segments, but wrote it off as part of the usual timing that many shows are dealing with when everyone is being filmed remotely. For me, Ryan Seacrest's speech and muscle movements weren't nearly as evident while watching live, but when it all gets pointed out in hindsight, I can understand how some were distressed and concerned about Ryan Seacrest's health.
Some fans weren't even able to properly react to the end of American Idol, and were instead seeking out any and all updates on what was happening with Seacrest throughout the night.
Of course, not everyone was convinced Ryan Seacrest was in medical distress. There were some who thought the longtime American Idol host was merely celebrating the end of a stressful season, perhaps in a way that would've involved alcoholic substances that would inhibit his otherwise phenomenal hosting abilities.
According to a statement that Ryan Seacrest's rep made to People magazine, there's no cause for alarm, and it does sound more like he desperately needed a nap. Seacrest's publicist, who acknowledged that he also missed hosting duties for Monday morning's episode of Live with Kelly and Ryan, explained that Seacrest was just taking a day off after a hard day of work.
Ryan did not have any kind of stroke last night. Like many people right now, Ryan is adjusting to the new normal and finding work-home balance, with the added stress of having to put on live shows from home. Between Live with Kelly and Ryan, American Idol, On Air with Ryan Seacrest, and the Disney Family Singalong specials, he has been juggling three to four on-air jobs over the last few weeks and he’s in need of rest, So today he took a well-deserved day off.
Ryan Seacrest's camp says there's no cause for concern, and unless Seacrest is willing to share more in the days to come, that may be the end of that. Of course, some fans are always going to be immediately skeptical when questionable situations get explained away so quickly, but Seacrest has definitely balanced a hefty workload even in quarantine. Perhaps this was truly an event where the entertainer was just too exhausted (and maybe a little tipsy). You can bet that fans will be tuning into Live with Kelly and Ryan on Tuesday morning to scope it out.
Ryan Seacrest will, for now at least, have some more time off with American Idol heading into its offseason hiatus, though it was confirmed it will return for Season 19. Continue to stick with CinemaBlend for all the latest happening in television and movie news.